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You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
                                                      -Mother Jones

Friday January 22, 1904
From The Indianapolis News: United Mine Workers to Increase Strike Assessment

Miners' Executive Board Says Addition Will Be 15 Cents or More

Sentiment of Strong Speeches-Support of
Colorado, West Va. and Meyersdale District

Members of the executive committee say that before leaving Indianapolis the United Mine Workers' executive committee will levy on the entire membership an increased per capita strike assessment for the support and prosecution of the strikes in Colorado, West Virginia and in the Meyersdale district in Pennsylvania. There is at present a per capita strike assessment of 10 cents a month. This according to the executive committeemen, will probably be increased to 25 cents a month per capita. On the present paying membership this assessment would raise $75,000 a month, or $900,000 a year, and would furnish ample funds not only to support the 14,000 strikers, but also to enable the organization to assume an aggressive policy...

In the Meyersdale and West Virginia districts the central competitive district joint agreement with the operators would be endangered by defeat, and defeat in the Colorado fight would mean that the plans of the organization to organize all of the coal miners in the Western States would be made impossible. The additional assessment will likely be put on at once...

The Indianapolis News
(Indianapolis, Indiana)
-of Jan 22, 1904

Thursday January 22, 1914
From the Salt Lake Tribune: I. W. W. Songwriter Joe Hill Charged with Murder

Joe Hill, IWW

The complaint charging Joe Hillstrom with murder in the first degree, issued by the county’s attorney Tuesday was yesterday filed in Justice Harry S. Harper’s court.  The complaint was sworn to by Deputy Sheriff R. L. Eddington.  Judge Harper immediately issued a warrant for Hillstrom.  The time for arraignment has not yet been set.

Hillstrom is charged with the murder of J. C. Morrison and his son in the Morrison grocery store at Seventh South and West Temple streets the night of January 10.

Joe Hill proclaims that he is innocent of the crime of murder. The warrant for his arrest is a formality as he has been held in the County Jail since his arrest several days ago.

The Salt Lake City newspapers tell lurid tales about our fellow worker, that he is a hardened criminal and is a wanted man in San Pedro, California. Hill admits that he has been to jail in San Pedro in connection with the stevedores' and dock workers' strike. He was secretary of the strike committee and, as he puts it, "a little too active to suit the chief of the burg." He was arrested on a charge of vagrancy and given thirty days in the city jail. He states that that is the full extent of his criminal record.

He further states:

I have worked hard for a living and paid for everything I got, and my spare time I spend by painting pictures, writing songs and composing music.

Salt Lake Tribune
(Salt Lake City, Utah)
-of Jan 22, 1914

The Letters of Joe Hill
-by Phillip S Foner
Oak Publications, 1965

Photo: Joe Hill


Wednesday January 22, 2014
Joe Hill's letter to the editor of the Salt Lake Telegram

                                                                                    State Prison
                                                                                     Aug. 15, 1915
Editor, Salt Lake Telegram,
Salt Lake City, Utah

.....In spite of all the hideous pictures and all the bad things said and printed about me, I had only been arrested once before in my life, and that was in San Pedro, Cal. At that time of the stevedores' and dock workers' strike I was secretary of the strike committee, and I suppose I was a little too active to suit the chief of the burg, so he arrested me and gave me thirty days in the city jail for "vagrancy"--and there you have the full extent of my "criminal record."

I have worked hard for a living and paid for everything I got, and my spare time I spend by painting pictures, writing songs and composing music.

Now, if the people of the State of Utah, want to shoot me without giving me half a chance to state my side of the case, then bring on your firing squads--I am ready for you.

I have lived like an artist and I shall die like an artist. Respectfully yours,

                                                                 Joseph Hillstrom

See Foner above

Joe Hill-Phil Ochs

So he headed out for the California shore;
There things were just as bad.
So he joined the Industrial Workers of the World
'Cause the union was the only friend he had,
'Cause, The union was the only friend he had.

                                -Phil Ochs

Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 11:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Rebel Songwriters, Shamrock American Kossacks, Protest Music, In Support of Labor and Unions, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and History for Kossacks.

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